Skip to main content

Fife Makes It Five | @AlexHTheMAX

There's now a second Hearts in Scottish League football and it isn't the reserve team from Tynecastle Stadium in Edinburgh! Alex Horsburgh (@AlexHTheMAX) introduces us to the brand new "Team 42" in the SPFL following a historic final day of the season in Scottish League Two.


Modern Scottish League history was made on Sunday May 23rd 2021 when Kelty Hearts replaced Brechin City in the SPFL after a 3-1 aggregate win in the Scottish Pyramid Play off final.

Kelty now move into League Two while Brechin are expected to be installed in the Highland League, as they are North of the River Tay, which is the dividing point for the Highland and Lowland Leagues.

These two divisions have been the pinnacle of the Scottish Pyramid since its inception in 2014 with the champions of each league playing off for the right to play the club at the bottom of SPFL League Two for the right to become a new Scottish League club.

This season Lowland League winners Kelty beat Highland Champs Brora to earn the right for a crack at League Two.


Only Edinburgh City (beating East Stirlingshire) and Cove Rangers of Aberdeen (sending Berwick Rangers down) had gone up from non league before Kelty in the Pyramid system North of the border.

Montrose (v Brora) and Cowdenbeath (twice v East Kilbride and Cove respectively) survived the drop in the other league v non league finals since 2014, but it was not to be for Brechin, after they had been given a stay of execution last season because of the early finish of the SPFL due to the pandemic. (Pyramid play off cancelled).

A sort of football karma then kicked in this term as Brechin finished bottom of League Two for the second season running and that once again set City up for a league survival tie with Kelty their opponents.

Kelty Hearts (managed by former Scotland, Rangers and Blackburn Rovers favourite Barry Ferguson) won the first leg of the 2020/1 play off final 2-1 at their New Central Park ground before clinching their SPFL place with a last gasp goal for 0-1 at Glebe Park, Brechin in a fiery 2nd Leg encounter which left both teams with ten men following red cards.

This now gives the county of Fife in the east of Scotland five league teams with Kelty joining Cowdenbeath, Dunfermline Athletic, Raith Rovers and East Fife in the SPFL from the Kingdom of Fife.

League Two Cowdenbeath v Kelty will now be the third closest league derby in Scotland after the Dundee city derby and Hamilton Accies v Motherwell with just three miles separating the former Fife mining town and Kelty, which is still termed as a village by some, and certainly one of the smallest towns in Central Scotland.

Kelty Hearts have gone from Amateur to Junior to Senior club in Scotland since being formed in 1975 and  "The Maroon Machine" have proved to be one of the most progressive non league clubs in Scotland in the last ten years.

Now the little Fife club with big ambition have secured their place in Scottish League Two and it will be away days at the likes of Elgin, Edinburgh, Annan and Stirling next season, not to mention four league derbies with nearby Cowdenbeath, Fife's oldest league club, following their formation in 1881. 

Groundhoppers are now planning post covid travels North of the border and they are ready to visit a football outpost across the Forth Bridges which has well and truly arrived as a possible new force in Scottish football below Premiership level.

Kelty Hearts are a Scottish League side.


By Alex Horsburgh (@AlexHTheMAX) for The Football History Boys (@TFHBs).

©The Football History Boys, 2021
(All pictures borrowed kindly and not owned by TFHB)

Popular posts from this blog

Ardiles and Villa: Footballing émigrés | @RichEvansWriter

Military events in the South Atlantic – even at a distance of 8000 miles – had a profound impact on a celebrated pair of international footballers in the 1980s.  @RichEvansWriter  takes up the story: Ossie Ardiles & Ricardo Villa at Tottenham Hotspur When one thinks of footballers and war, images of khaki-clad figures of yesteryear tend to spring to mind – the kind of ‘moustached archaic faces’ that Philip Larkin details in his poem MCMXIV. However, footballers do not have to be participants to be affected by conflict. Indeed, as with any civilians, they may well be unwitting victims with no stake in political events beyond their control.  In certain instances, football risks turning into an extension of the battleground – where players, subject to barbarous words and threats, become targets of abuse. Such was the case in 1982 with Ricardo Villa and Ossie Ardiles – then both of Tottenham Hotspur – whose fates (at least in the short term) were determined by events unfolding on the o

The Crest Dissected - AS Roma

It’s been a good while since I’ve done a Crest Dissected but after a bit of a summer break and time at the BBC ( Cardiff and Swansea pieces) it’s time to get back down to TFHB writing! So following FC Barcelona , PSG , AS Monaco  and US Women’s Soccer this week I’m going to take a look at AS Roma and their intriguing history.  In the summer of 1927 an Italian Fascist, Italo Foschi , was behind the merger of three older Italian Football Championships clubs all based in Rome, Alba-Audace , Roman and Fortitudo . The purpose of the move was to compete with the well established clubs, especially in the Northern cities but Lazio were not behind the move meaning the Derby della Capitale rivalry was there from the beginning and Associazone Sportiva Roma was born. AS Roma immediately endeared themselves to the masses by taking on the capital’s colours, red and yellow, something Lazio did not consider as they favoured the greek myth of Olimpia and the colour blue. Romulus an

Football By Decade: 1960s

Following the immense changes to football in the 1950s, the subsequent decade was sure to reap the benefits of alterations to style, tactics and appreciation. The 1960s is when the game went truly global, of course towards the latter half of the previous ten years  the European Cup had been introduced by UEFA, only to be completely dominated by Real Madrid, winning the tournament 5 times in a row. However, as we will see the 1960s brought a wider change in world culture and a social revolution effecting even football, a sport which often sees itself as exempt from global issues. Firstly we are to look at British football. English sport at least had been dramatically and even brutally forced to rethink its entire ethos after the 1950s which had highlighted a long-term outdated nature to tactics and methods of play. We at the Football History Boys have not been short on explaining this - the 6-3 drubbing by Hungary in 1953 and embarrassing early World Cup exits in 1950 and 1958